Do I need meditation or mindfulness in my life?

✴️ What is the hype about meditation and mindfulness?

✴️ Is it worth considering?

✴️ Doesn't it mean sitting in a lotus position for hours on end?

✴️ Is there a difference between the two practices?

✴️ I have tried it and it just doesn't work for me!

Simply put, meditation and mindfulness practices help clear the noise and chaos of your thoughts bringing you a calmer and ultimately more fulfilling world experience. This in turn allows you to make more deliberate choices in your daily life rather than teetering along to the whim of your turbulent cascade of emotions.

There are lots of established benefits to practicing one of these approaches including but not limited to:

  1. Reduced stress & anxiety along with associated biomarkers

  2. Improved sleep quality

  3. Clearer mind able to make better decisions

  4. More empathy for others and stronger relationships

  5. Greater overall wellbeing

  6. Improved concentration & memory

  7. Pain reduction & management

  8. Freeing you from negative patterns of behaviour

  9. More creativity

✴️ It's absolutely a practice you should consider introducing to your life. And even if you have tried it and it didn't work out for you at that time, it's worth re exploring.

✴️ Contrary to the stereotype simply practicing for 10 minutes per day can have profound effects. Its the age old mantra of little and often and should be able to fit into and around your life without being overly complicated and certainly not onerous.

To start with simply find a safe and comfortable place to sit or lie while you practice. As you become more experienced and comfortable with the process you can find yourself being able to practice mindfulness anywhere at anytime - yes even in a supermarket queue or a traffic jam. You don't even need to close your eyes.

✴️ So what is the difference between the two?

This will depend on who you ask and there is no fully established and universally accepted definition. The dictionary definitions are basic.

Mindfulness is about awareness of the moment you are in without judgement. Meditation is a practice (and there are many different meditation practices if you wish to explore them) to achieve a clear mind and a calm emotional state. Some argue that mindfulness is a type of meditation practice. 🤷‍♂️

✴️ does it work for everyone?

A large number of people connect with these processes immediately however my personal journey with mindfulness & meditation hasn't been smooth. I made three aborted attempts with a couple of different approaches over the years but I kept coming back to it as many people I respect continued to promote the benefit and success of such practices.

Basically I found that practicing mindful or meditative practices left me feeling worse, not better... this didn't make sense at all from all the positive praise for these processes. It certainly didn't encourage me to continue...

My path finally opened up when I discussed this with a large group of experienced meditators, "meditation makes me feel more angry or more flat... is this normal or am I doing it wrong?"

Fortunately the overwhelming response, was that this can be an entirely normal part of the process for some and to persist with it and you will move past it. Almost like a detoxification process, but instead of it being one for the body, its one for the mind.

The ego is a powerful part of our identity and attempts to wrest control from it results in a power struggle and potentially an even greater tantrum from the ego than you might be used to. Also finding stillness in your mind can make the noisy moments feel more extreme at the start.

My ego is strong, insecure as hell and throws the most amazing tantrums 🤣 It wasn't giving up easily.

However I persisted and kept coming back to the process gently and with greater understanding of what was going on I was able to more easily move forward on my journey.

And it's important to remember it is a journey, something that should become part of your life for as long as you need it, which could well be forever. We are too eager to feel better then stop practicing what made us feel better, whether this is something physical, mental or emotional.

I hope you are still with me and if you would like to explore this further please contact me below. I will be starting some mindfulness and meditation classes on the 20th April and will be holding free tasters to help you start your journey to the you that you know you can be 😊

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